Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spotlight on Abilene Residents: The Smiths

The following was written by Bill Jeffcoat about Mr. and Mrs. Sam Smith and their daughter, Mary.  Jeffcoat also goes into detail about the photographic process at the time this photograph was taken.  It is a rather interesting image considering the work that was required to capture it.  The caption and image are both courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum:

A home portrait by P.H. Jeffcoat, 1920s.

An attorney, this couple had one daughter, Mary, who graduated from KU in journalism. She got a job in Boston with the Christian Science Monitor newspaper. Some years later moving to New York City, she started her own magazine on hand weaving which was very successful. She never married and she is buried along with her parents in the Abilene cemetery.

For this view, flash powder was used for lighting. Flash globes or strobe lights were not around then. Flash powder was tricky to use as it had to be ignited at the same time the shutter on the camera opened and closed. In the 1920s, not too many couples could afford to have home portraits taken. The Smiths were able to afford it.

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